leaders of the u.s. and russia discuss the conflict in syria during a first face to face meeting in nearly two years. welcome to al jazeera live from our headquarters in doha. also coming up, taliban fighters launch a major fencive north of afghanistan, and take control of a city. protesters return to the streets of hong kong is there life on mars -
n.a.s.a. scientists say flowing water is almost certainly present on the red planet. leaders of the u.s. and russia held discussions at the u.n. general assembly in new york over how to best solvent the conflict in syria. president obama and vladimir putin had their first formal meeting in two years, agreeing that a coordinated strategy was needed. president obama said although the u.s. is prepared to work with russia and iran, there can be no long-term future for bashar al-assad. vladimir putin said it would be a huge mistake not o work with bashar al-assad's forces and risk the collapse of the syrian state. james bays has this now from new york. >> russia's president normally avoids this annual gathering of world leaders at the u.n., but he came on a whigsle stop trip,
planning not to spend a night in new york. the centre piece of his speech, the idea of a grand coalition against i.s.i.l. >> we propose discussing whether it's possible to agree on a resolution aimed at coordinate ght the actions of all the forces that confront i.s.i.l. and other terrorist organizations. once again this should be based on the principles of the u.n. charter. >> that reference to the u.n. charter is important. syria's seat at the u.n. is coupled by bashar al-assad's ambassador. it would be a coalition, including the bashar al-assad government. and on its terms. >> the u.s. would never accept that, but if some of its western allies are moderating their position, floating a compromised idea that perhaps he could stay on for a bit in the phase transition to a new government. >> realism dictates that
compromise will be needed to end the fighting and stamp out i.s.i.l. realism requires a managed transition away from bashar al-assad and to a new leader, and an inclusive government that recognises there must be an end to the chaos and syrian people can rebuild. >> reporter: that idea seemed to be dismissed by france, and the first gulf country qatar, to speak. >> translation: a considerable amount of effort is boning made to incorporate bashar al-assad in the process. they can't work together and put together victims and the people that are meeting them. it's the origin of the problem, it's can't be part of the solution. >> reporter: in damascus, there may be concern about the speech,
rain saying it wanted the talks to be a model of diplomacy on syria. hassan rouhani added this... >> as we aided the establishment of democracy in iraq and afghanistan, we are prepared to help bring about democracy in syria as well as yemen. >> the real business here takes place away from the chamber, this is a former lunch with the secretary-general of the united nations sitting between the russian leader. >> vladimir putin and president obama held a meeting to discuss the situation in syria and ukraine. after 4.5 years of war in syria - this is the first push in 18 months since the collapse of peace talks in geneva. everyone knows a fresh effort to end the conflict will face huge
hurdles meanwhile, the u.s. president has chaired a u.n. peacekeeping summit. the u.s. contributes few peacekeepers, but pays for a quarter of the budget. it is funding from missions that are needed more than ever. gabriel elizonda has this report. >> reporter: from south sudan to haiti, the strain on the united nations peace-keeping troops has never been greater. the u.s. says they need more support, and at a special summit president obama took the first step. >> largest financial contributor to the u.n. peacekeeping operations. united states intends to do its part. the first in more than 20 years to expand support for u.n. peace. it's mostly in the form of
monetary and logistical support, and not an increase of troops on the ground. for that it looks to allies, and the rest of the world to boost the peacekeeping ranks. in the u.n., china was one of the biggest countries to answer the call. china decided to take the lead in setting up a permanent peace-keeping police squad and build a police keeping stand by force. >> countries are giving billions for now equipment and better training something need said as peacekeeping makes headlines for all the wrong reasonings. casting an angry shadow, a range of sexual abuse allegations involving peacekeepers, most recently in the central african republic. some involved rape against children. leaders of the summit were clear. it has to stop. >> we have to insist on zero
tolerance for abuse. zero. >> the hope is fresh reforms and funds will usher in a new era in u.n. peacekeeping. >> i think the conference sends a signal that it's no longer business as usual. and some countries in africa and asia have got lazy in their approach to peacekeeping and will have to raise their games, including improving their attitude over sexual abuse and corruption. >> reform and better equipped and funded forces - at this summit an acknowledgment that it's necessary to meet the demand in a world where people tasked with keeping the peace are needed now more than ever. >> the president of the central african republic left the u.n. interim assembly to deal with violence in her country. hundreds of prisoners escaped. more than 30 people were killed over the weekend. gunmen opened fire on a christian neighbourhood.
it is the worst unrest since french and u.n. peacekeepers were deployed last year. >> the taliban fighters took control of a strategic city in northern afghanistan. security forces are fighting back against an attack in the kunduz, including the freeing of hundreds of prisoners. stephanie dekker has the report. >> the moment taliban fighters broke open kunduz prison, around 600 prisoners were behind bars, including taliban fighters. the attack is one of a string of events that left the group in control of most of kunduz city. the people of congress is under fear, they are in fear of the house, no one is in the street orr the city. they are worrying about the attacks. >> reporter: the afghan interior ministry sent special enforcements, and air support. it's an unpredicted situation. the taliban made major games in
kunduz since fighters surrounded the city in the early hours of monday morning. government leaders say the stay -- city will be retaken. there has been casualties on both sides, bodies of fighters and a policeman killed in the fighting. civilians are reported to be caught up in the battle for the city. it's the first time the taliban has taken control of kunduz, since the u.s.-led invasion in 2001. kunduz was the taliban's former northern stronghold before the government was overthrown 14 years ago. taliban fighters hold some part of the province, laying in the north of the country with main roads connecting it and the -- connecting it to the rest of afghanistan and t capital kabul. the u.s. and n.a.t.o. left afghanistan last year, leaving afghan forces to face the taliban alone. taliban fighters are powerful forces on the ground and tried to take the city before. afghan forces managed to push them back. the question is whether they can
do it again yemeni government forces launched an offensive to take control of a key dom from houthi rebels. coalition forcers are helping with air strikes around the dam. opening up western access to sanaa the capital. >> iran's president hassan rouhani says saudi arabia's handling of the stampede was incompetent. 769 pilgrims died. critics believe the numbers may be higher. >> india and pakistan say 1,100 photos of the dead have been given for identification purposes. >> i'm speaking on behalf of a great nation whose mourning the loss of thousands of muslim pilgrims, and hundreds of its own citizens who came together in the grand and global spiritual gathering of the hajj,
but fell victims to the incompetence and mismanagement of those in charge. due to their unaccount abilitiy, even they cannot be identified, and expeditious return of the bodies of the decreased to their mourning families has been prevented scientists at n.a.s.a. say they have found strong evidence of flowing water on mars, it's an historic finding raising the prospect that life could exist on the red planet. john hendren has this report. >> reporter: n.a.s.a. scientists say the red planet is not the desolate dry place they thought it was. >> today we are revolutionizing our understanding of this planet. our rovers are finding that there's a lot more humidity in the air than we ever imagined. as we ingest the soils, they are moist, hydrated, full of water. mars is not the dry arid planet that we thought of in the past.
today we are going to announce that under certain circumstances liquid water has been found on mars. >> researchers say a few billion years ago mars was covered with rivers, lakes and possibly an ocean, where they believe only a small amount of frozen water remains. now nasa says a camera has captured briny water on the surface of the plan planet. it's a building block of life. and they say there's a water cycle that changes, much like on earth. these are dark streaks that form in late spring, grow through the summer and disappear by fall. >> that raising the possibility of life, possibly microbial life, making it easy for explorers to sustain themselves as they explore the planet, as n.a.s.a. hopes to do by 2030. >> today's announcement about a fascinating result of current water on mars is a reason i feel it's imperative to send astrobiologists and planetary
scientists to mars to explore the question is there life on mars. the possibility of life on mars is envisioned in science fiction, but largely dismissed. >> there's nothing here. it's mars. >> the finding also raises the possibility that despite varying temperatures, that ranges from 56 to 20 celsius, that it might be possible to grow food in greenhouses on the surface. n.a.s.a. managers say the discovery leaves many mysteries unresolved. they don't know where the water comes from, or what, besides salts, is in it. >> francisco is a senior still to come - spain's prime minister appeals for calm after separatists win land-mark elections in catalonia. and we describe why america's largest family planning organization is under investigation.
catch up on what happened overnight with a full morning brief. get a first hand look with in-depth reports and investigations. start weekday mornings with al jazeera america. open your eyes to a world in motion. welcome back, i'm nick clark, these are the top stories on al jazeera. syria has been high on the agenda at the first day the united nations general assembly. u.s. president obama and the russian president vladimir putin had their first formal meeting in two years, agreeing that a coordinated strategy was needed to fight i.s.i.l. the african taliban take control of the northern city of kunduz, the fighters entering the area during an early morning assault on monday. >> scientists at n.a.s.a. say
they have found evidence of flowing water on mars, an historic finding that means that life could exist. >> fighting leaves 24 injured in the north-eastern tip of taiwan. most wounded were hit by flying debris. hundreds of thousands of homes are wowed electricity. downpours could trigger landslides. we have the latest from taipei. >> train stations are starting to operate again. there have been reports of landslides in the taipei city. 24 people are believed to have been injured, and more than 33,000 people and homes are without power. it's seams as if the preparation of the taiwanese government and the infrastructure of the city
itself, has really helped, contained the damage that the typhoon has wrought. it's not as bad as people feared is to be. there's a lot of cleaning on the roads. debris cleared up in order to make sure that life goes back to normal. it's leaving taiwan's area of responsibility by 1:00pm local time. and is heading to china. right now there's a lot of worry over infrastructure and transportation. right now it's out. taiwan's xobilityy. >> activists in hong kong marked an ear anniversary, a large celebration of political celebration. rob mcbride has more from hong kong. >> they came to the spot where a year ago thousands forced their way through police cordons to
start the occupy movement. in the carnival atmosphere it was a chance to remember the community that flourished here for 79 days. >> the biggest wish is to think about what we should learn from the spirits. >> just remember what happened last year. >> more radical groups called for an attempt to take over the streets. as they surged towards the barricades, it was clear thousands of police would not allow a repeat. there was little appetite from the protesters itself. 12 months ago it was a different story. when a sea of umbrellas became a symbol of the movement. an exhibition of artefacts and what they represent provide a reminder of a movement that drew tens of thousands on to the streets. >> we hope they reflect on some
issues raised, to extend the discussion and condition the dialogue. for groups, this is a work in progress. >> it will be better. doesn't mean we have to give up. we have failed already. we have to do what we can. >> even the occupy organizers admit it didn't work, that china did not make concessions on how hong kong chooses its leader. protesters insist that it did empower a generation, and events like this keep the spirit alive. >> thousands of refugees have been queueing up at the croatian serbian border as they journey north to prosperous countries, more than 100 buses arrive at the serbian border town. croatian's government says 70,000 enter the country.
temperatures make it difficult for refugees to stay healthy. >> more and more enter the vulnerable group, the outcome. also, a lot of pregnant women who gave birth on the exodus, and a lot of small children. the suffering is due to - due to this - this road that they took, and also something that they can't prevent, hygiene related diseases. spain's prime minister increased the in addition after a plea for calm after they won landmark elections. it might prove difficult to
unite. jonah hull has more from barcelona. sunday night. catalan's party like freedom arrived. morning brought more sober analysis. in madrid the prime minister called for calm, holding out the prospects for talks, and promised to use the constitutional court to block moves towards independence. and the headlines in the main stream press - they won the election, but lost the election. the majority of catalans don't want to go. >> they won the election, have a majority, but they failed to get 50% of the vote. that was actually very difficult. but have they done that. they would have an extra legitimacy that could allow them to declare independence unilaterally. after the euphoria, legitimacy emerged as a problem, and that
majority in government is another. depending on the far left. a citizen's moves calling for acts of civil disobedience in madrid. >> we heard about grand coalitions between right and left. you plan to bring in the far left. how do you expect to agree with one another enough to govern, let alone declare independence. >> it's called democracy. we are living in an exceptional moment and will manage the situation according to the result of the polls. in that sense, the diversity is clear. but we are in a traditional period, and will manage this the best way we can. >> they are making a good show of their plans, but this is the broadest opportunistic of arrangements. you can't help feeling as if the hopes of independence are planted mere in slightly shaky political ground. >> the trial of democracy is
seldom a victory for everyone. >> i hope it ends with an agreement, and that catalans get a better deal out of all this. i hope it doesn't end in a confrontation amongst catalans, i hope it ends well. >> there, at a minimum lay the hopes of everyone. >> switzerland's competition watchdog is investigating several knagsal banks alleged to have man i'mulated metal prices including swiss bank, deutsche bank, hs b.c. and barclays. america's planning organization is a focus showing videos showing the clinic's executives discussing the sale of foetal tissue. >> reporter: they came to capitol hill with a message for members of congress, don't defund planned parenthood. for many working class
americans, it's the only access to affordable health care. this woman turned to planned parenthood to preserve fertility, when she could not afford medication. >> i worked hard to get into the programme. i need to get a job and will not be able to study for this. planned parenthood - i was able to get the medication. >> planned parenthood was my contact with getting my first breast cancer screening. it's a process na saved my life. >> not everyone in congress sees planned parenthood as a ben esso lant organization. the health clinic providing abortion violating the beliefs of some members, after video surfaced exposing planned parent ad hood executives, openly discussing foetal tissue for
public. many in congress from incensed, threatening to shut down a government. the head of planned parenthood has been called to testify before a committee. abortion opponents are pushing to end the organizations funding. with a lack of dignity for the human person, whether that was a baby whose life was taken, they were seen as a commodity. they were harvesting little hearts, lungs, livers for a cost. many in congress say the hearing is nothing more than an attack on reproductive choices, going on since abortion was legalized in the u.s. >> what is really under attack is the right of women to control their own bodies. their own reproduction and
reproductive self. courtenay agreed, that's why she came to tell congress that abortions are a small part of planned parenthood. because of her medical condition, her chance at motherhood would never have happened without support. plumes of smoke and clouds of ash spewed from a volcano in the andes of southern peru. scientists observed the volcano, and say the ash and smoke shot up 4,000 meters. the volcano had been dormant for several years a new industry is taking off in south africa as drones are used in everything from growing crops to making films. it's the only country in africa that legalized drones. that's proving controversial. >> reporter: the buzzing sound of a drone often associated with military use.
flying drones for melbourne purposes has become popular. south africa legalized it. >> there are tremendous application benefits in using the technology, we forecast there'll be an explosive growth of this technology in south africa. we need to prepare the drone pilot is the second instructor in the country since licences began to be issued, and says drones will create business opportunities for pilots. >> we had an opportunity to protect with drones. and that's where we starred operating the drones, instructing people. >> once the camera is attached. it can be used in industries. >> the highest demand came from the local film and production industries. the civil aviation authority expects interests across a
number of sectors to grow. using a drone is cheaper than using aircraft. >> to ensure it's safe. they regulate how drones can be flown through buildings and drones. >> these mean that the failure rates are yet to be determined. they could fall at any time. one could attach a firearm, a bomb, and fly it into a group of persons and lead to an aircraft. south africa is the first country to issue licences. >> the problem is the amount of regulation requirement, the amount of detailed work that is required to ensure that there is a safe standard because what we are talking about is mixing in our air space.
the safety of man flying with unmanned flying. >> while flying commercial drones is illegal in africa, south african pilots say the benefits outweigh the risks more on all the stories that we are covering. aljazeera.com. new york new york 8.4 million people call the city home. >> it's snowing hard in central park and 20 in midtown and snowfall one to two feet and saying we could have snow hour. >> the coldest winter in 81 years and coincides with a grim reality.